2008 Legislative Summary


Property Tax Bills – Passed in 2008 Regular Session

SSB 6828 Expands aerospace industry tax incentives
EHB 2459 Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act, an effort ot move to electronic practices
HB 1149 Removed requirement for county treasurers to collect advance property tax deposits on binding site plans
SB 6950 Extension of excise tax payments or filings during a disaster
2SHB 3104 Extends the rights and responsibilities granted to spouses
SSB 5256 Redefines "disposable income" to exclude certain veteran's benefits
SSB 6389 Provides military housing and ancillary supporting facilities
SB 6806 Adds anaerobic digesters to the existing property and leasehold tax exemption for bio-diesel and alcohol fuel manufacturing facilities
ESB 6641 Revised and clarified the statutes regarding levy lid-lifts
E2SHB 3186 Authorized creation of beach management districts
ESB 6663 Voided a number of outdated statutes and technical corrections

SSB 6828 Expanded aerospace industry tax incentives that were first adopted in 2003 for aerospace manufacturers and extended in 2006 for related, non manufacturing business. The incentives include sales tax exemptions for computer equipment and software, preferential B&O tax rates and a B&O tax credit for certain qualifying property in an amount equal to the property taxes and leasehold excise taxes that are paid. The current bill extends these benfits, including the B&O credit for property taxes paid to a broader industry group.


EHB 2459 Adopted the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act, a nationwide effort to move to electronic recording practices that will be compatible and harmonious between jurisdictions. The act establishes the definitions, standards, procedures and authority needed by county auditors to record, store and transmit documents electronically. The Secretary of State is to create a commission that will review and guide the process within our state.


HB 1149 Removed the requirement for county treasurers to collect advance property tax deposits on binding site plans. Binding site plans can be an alternative method of dividing certain properties. For binding site plans, the assessor must ascertain the true and fair value of each divided lot and assess each lot no later than the calendar year following its recording.


SB 6950 Provided that the Governor, after proclaiming a state of emergency, may issue an order or orders concerning the waiver or suspension of statutory obligations. When a disaster is declared by the Governor, the Department of Revenue may extend the due date for excise tax payments or filings. County treasurers may grant extensions of the due date for property taxes.


2SHB 3104 Extends the right and responsibilities granted to spouses in various areas of law to state registered domestic partners. State registered domestic partners are to be treated the same as spouses under the senior citizen/ disabled person exemption program and the property tax deferral program.


SSB 5256 Redefines “disposable income” to exclude certain veteran’s benefits. “Disposable income” determines a taxpayer’s eligibility for several property tax relief programs. Under this act, disability compensation and dependency/ indemnity compensation paid to veterans will no longer be counted against the disposable income limits when veterans apply for the senior citizen/ disabled person property tax exemption or apply under one of the property tax deferral programs.


SSB 6389 Provides that military housing and ancillary supporting facilities developed under the federal Military Housing Privatization Initiative are exempt from property tax and leasehold excise tax. The property must be used for the housing of military personnel and their families and be located on land owned by the United States. Initial application for qualification must be made to the Department of Revenue. Any change in the use of the property must be reported to the Department of Revenue.


SB 6806 Adds anaerobic digesters to the existing property and leasehold tax exemption for bio-diesel and alcohol fuel manufacturing facilities. Anaerobic digesters are devices that process manure into methane gas and dried solids. Back in 2001, they were exempted from sales and use taxes. The new measure provides a six year property tax exemption for the real and personal property and should encourage better management of the waster and produce some energy as well. Exemption begins with the assessment year following start-up of a qualifying facility.


ESB 6641 Revised and clarified the statutes regarding levy lid-lifts. The measure provides that any single year or multi-year lid lift approved by the voters is temporary unless the ballots proposition expressly states that the increase is permanent. After the lid-lift period is over, subsequent levies are computed as if the lid lift had never occurred and the district had levied within the maximum rates allowed- unless the ballot proposition states otherwise.


E2SHB 3186 Authorized the creation of beach management districts, very similar to lake management districts. They are designed to give shoreline communities the ability to impose property taxes or assessments to raise the funds needed to deal with the uncontrolled growth of aquatic plants like sea lettuce.


ESB 6663 Voided a number of outdated statutes and technical corrections. One of the corrections made was to remove obsolete language in RCW 84.09.030. That part of the measure clarified that most districts must establish their boundaries by August 1, prior to imposing a property tax levy to be collected in the following year.


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